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Working with sustainability: Experiences of sustainability processes in Swedish municipalities


E. Carina H. Keskitalo and Johanna Liljenfeldt are at the Department of Social and Economic Geography, Umeå University, Sweden. E-mails: and


Working with sustainability goals at the local level places large requirements on developing and integrating priorities within the budgeting and organization of local government. This study reviews how selected Swedish municipalities have dealt with developing local sustainability processes, in particular in regard to the Aalborg Declaration commitments. The study highlights difficulties, including the lack of funding and staff time for clearly relating to outside sustainability documents and strategies. It also focuses on the requirement for dedicated resources to development, prioritization and follow-up of sustainability goals, especially in smaller municipalities.